Looking for some support here, I suppose. I am a new nurse and I've been working on a surgical/cardiac floor on the night shift for almost 6 months. My average patient load is 9 (acute) patients per night. Everyday I am amazed at the stress this job brings. I love being a nurse, but not necessarily in this manner. I am so overwhelmed by the patient load, acuity, and the entirety of the position. I know I went to college for almost 4 years and sacrificed my home and family life for a degree which seems, at this time, to have absolutely no gratitude or appreciation. I spend most every night in a slight jog for 12-15 hours, trying to hold on and trying to maintain safety and be a "nurse" and yet, I feel so unappreciated and I feel like if I emptied my heart and soul to the patients, families, physicians, and veteran nurses, that it would still not come close to being enough. Is this what I signed up for? Help?